Langara Launches Centre for Entertainment Arts in Vancouver
In an effort to meet local industry demand for skilled artists, and to promote Vancouver internationally as a hub for the creative industries, a partnership between Langara College and the Academy of Art University, San Francisco (ArtU) will train students for careers in gaming and film. The programs will be located at a 38,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at 565 Great Northern Way in Vancouver.
The programs will focus on VFX, 3D modelling, gaming, and other technology-related creative arts. All students will graduate with the skills they need to immediately enter the job market, with international students eligible to apply for a 2-3 year post-graduation work permit.
“This is an exciting project for Langara. Langara’s mandate as a public college is to provide and build a strong, sustainable, innovative economy that works for everyone in the province. The ArtU agreement accomplishes exactly this,” said Ajay Patel, Langara’s Vice President, External Development. “These programs will train a workforce needed to fill high demand jobs in this important sector. We are really excited to leverage the Academy's curriculum to deliver high level programming in the creative arts for games and film.”
Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University, sees this as an especially beneficial partnership for aspiring professionals.“We are first and foremost a professional school—a purpose-based art and design school where students develop their talents and acquire the specific skills sought by the creative marketplace,” she said. “Partnering with Langara continues that legacy as we prepare students for career success in both the game and film industries.”
“We are excited to be the knowledge provider as Langara expands their educational offerings. Our practice-based curriculum gives students the tools and real-world experience that today’s creative industries are demanding,” added Bill Tsatsoulis, Chief Operating Officer at Academy of Art University. “This partnership directly supports our vision to be the first choice for students seeking a world-class education in the arts, and the first choice for those seeking to employ talented artists and designers.”
The creative arts industry in gaming and film are major drivers of the BC economy. Creative BC reports that budgeted motion picture production expenditures during the 2017-18 fiscal year contributed $3.4 billion to B.C.’s economy. The gaming industry has over 170 game development studios in the Vancouver area alone; a report by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada indicates that Canada’s gaming industry contributes $3.7 billion to the country’s economy.
There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from local industry to the launch of the Centre in Vancouver.
As Head of Animation at Digital Domain, Jan Philip Cramer is best known for his work as Animation Lead on James Cameron's Avatar, and as Animation Director on Avengers: Infinity War. Cramer won a Visual Effects Society (VES) award for the animated character ‘Thanos’ on February 5, 2019, and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. Cramer expressed the industry’s enthusiasm about the partnership.
“I am excited to hear the Academy of Art University is partnering with Langara,” said Cramer, Head of Animation, Digital Domain. “I completed my education at ArtU and it launched my career. Having this excellent education provided me with all the needed knowledge to succeed in the VFX industry and end up as Head of Animation at Digital Domain. I cannot wait to bring inspiring animators from the Langara program onto our projects.”